Sept 21, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Briefing the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on Sept 20th in Washington DC, experts on South Sudan, call for South Sudan to be placed under the UN Trusteeship for a period of 10 to 15 years.
The experts, which include Dr. Luka Biong Deng Kuol, Dr. Jok Madut Jok and Kate Almquist Knopf unanimously agreed that South Sudan is no longer on the brink of state failure or economic collapse but a complete failed state that should be immediately placed under life support for a period of 10 to 15 years.
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“South Sudan is not on the brink of state failure. South Sudan is not in the process of failing. South Sudan has failed, at great cost to its people and with increasingly grave implications for regional security, including the stability of important U.S. partners in the Horn of Africa.” Said Kate Ambquist Knopf, the Director of Africa Center For Strategic Studies and U.S. Department of Defense.
The Honorable Kate Almquist Knopf vividly explains how she has worked with President Salva Kiir during the Compressive Peace Agreement and within the last 5 years of South Sudan independent.
According to her independent observations, Kate has seen South Sudan on the brink of failure as its leaders struggle for power and control of resources to a failed extend where the incumbent regime ceased to perform even the minimal functions and responsibilities of a sovereign state.
Although Salva Kiir regime may speak for the country and its sovereignty, Kate reiterates that South Sudan’s domestic sovereignty is contested and discredited by the warring factions under Kiir and Machar.
“South Sudan has ceased to perform even the minimal functions and responsibilities of a sovereign state. The government exercises no monopoly over coercive power, and its ability to deliver public services, provide basic security, and administer justice is virtually nonexistent. While the Kiir regime may2claim legal sovereignty, in practice domestic sovereignty is entirely contested and discredited.” Kate said.
According to the experts, placing South Sudan under UN and AU Trusteeship will protect South Sudan’s sovereignty, its territorial integrity and empows the citizens of South Sudan to take ownership of their country and their future from liberators-turned-oppressors.
Kate explains that Trusteeship has worked in sovereign states such as Cambodia, Kosovo and East Timor, and therefore South Sudan should not use “sovereignty” as a shield to pursue violent and war crimes at the expenses of its own people.
“Though seemingly radical, international administration is not unprecedented and has been previously employed to guide other countries, including sovereign states, out of conflict. Cambodia, Kosovo, and East Timor are some of the most prominent examples. While it will realistically take at least ten to fifteen years for South Sudanese to develop a new vision for their state as well as the institutions to manage politics nonviolently, it is more sensible to plan for this duration at the outset than drift into an accumulation of one-year peacekeeping mandates over decades, as has been done in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, and elsewhere.” Kate said.
“Like a patient in critical condition, restoring South Sudan to viability can only be done by putting the country on external “life support” and gradually withdrawing assistance over time.” Kate explains
Under a UN and AU transitional administration, however, the World Bank could manage South Sudan’s oil revenues in a transparent and accountable manner to partially fund service delivery to South Sudanese. Major donors and international financial institutions such as the IMF would be reassured by the accountability and transparency mechanisms governing the delivery of non- humanitarian assistance under the transitional administration.
“This would in turn bolster confidence that donor resources are supporting national strategies to meet the needs of South Sudan’s citizens and unblock generous aid packages that provide additional incentives to South Sudanese constituencies to support the transition. Any services the people of South Sudan receive today are already being provided by the international community. A UN and AU transitional administration would remove the political and security impediments to these operations.” Kate further explains.
She reiterates that even more critically, a transitional administration would provide space for the kind of genuine national dialogue process prescribed by the AU Commission of Inquiry, “to provide a forum for dialogue, inquiry, and to record the multiple, often competing narratives about South Sudan’s history and conflicts; to construct a common narrative around which a new South Sudan can orient its future; to uncover and document the history of victimization and to recommend appropriate responses,” including through a truth and reconciliation commission. It would also allow for an internal discussion on the structure of the state.
Although UN and AU transitional administration could be tried in South Sudan, Kate do not have better options other than a use of force and dialogue to mitigate outbreak of violence while trying to isolate both Machar and Kiir from South Sudan’s politics.
With some backing from the United States and the region, Salva Kiir government has tried to isolate Machar from the Transitional Government and subsequently from South Sudan, however, the experts argue that both Machar and Kiir cannot be isolated from South Sudan politics.